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Is This One Too A Ban?

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On Monday, Ghanaians woke up to the interesting news that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo had suspended all foreign travels by ministers of state, deputy ministers, and Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assembly Chief Executives (MMDCEs).

The directive, which exempts the Minister for Foreign Affairs, is aimed at minimizing disruption to Government’s domestic work, and protecting the public purse.

Explaining the directive as a ‘ban’, the Deputy Chief of Staff, Samuel Abu Jinapor, said it would help the government to standardise the modalities by which appointees leave the country.

He also explained that the ‘ban would in the long run help in cutting down on government expenditure.

But there is a leeway though. Jinapor said any minister who intends to travel out must first convince the presidency as to the necessity of the trip.

He also insinuated that, many cabinet ministers must have been absenting themselves from cabinet meetings, to the displeasure of the President.

“The President is very insistent on Ministers attending cabinet meetings so unless it is extremely essential, the Chief of Staff…will normally disapprove of any travel request which will coincide with the cabinet calendar,” he told the media.

THE PUBLISHER wonders if the directive, as described above, can be described as a ‘ban’ in the correct sense of the word.

Seriously speaking, when the president says his ministers must have good reasons for travelling out of the country, do we call it a ban?

The paper believes that, going by the books, the word ‘ban’ means to forbid something from being or happening. It also means to prohibit, forbid, veto, proscribe, outlaw, place an embargo on, interdict, among others. Nowhere does it come with an exemption.

And like the ban on illegal mining, the paper is of the opinion that there should not have been any ‘acceptable reasons’ to spare anyone. What kind of ban comes with exemptions and conditions?

We think there is a disconnect somewhere. Either the presidency is not coming out clear, or that it was the local media that chose to describe the directive as such.

And to borrow a word or two from the late Ebony Reigns, we also ask:

IS THIS ONE TOO A BAN?

According to him, the Presidency is keen on making sure appointees are available to perform their local duties hence the decision to control how appointees leave the shores.

“…the idea is to fashion out standardised guidelines where every government official will know that with an invitation of this nature and given the guidelines, will I be granted permission or not,” he said.

He also said it is aimed at protecting the public purse

Opposition says president must rather reduce the size of his ministers

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